Keswick Mountain Festival: Tour de France meets the Lake District

Cyclists are gearing up to have a go at Keswick Mountain Festival's latest sporting event – a brand new Sportive (What's a Sportive? Think the Tour de France meets the Lake District!). This challenging new road biking event, being held on Saturday 22 May 2010, will take riders climbing up three of the most spectacular Lakeland passes around Keswick. It's all part of Keswick Mountain Festival, which is being held between 19-23 May 2010, and jointly sponsored by Cumbria Tourism and Ordnance Survey.

Dave Willis, 109 kb

The new Sportive has three levels of endurance race:

  • The big one - that takes you up Whinlatter, Newlands and Honister passes twice and from different directions, covers 105 kilometers (65 miles) and climbs 3,140 metres (10,300 feet).
  • The medium one – will take in four climbs to a total of 2,700 metres (8, 860 feet) and over 90 kilometers (56 miles) of road.
  • The little one – a mere 46 kilometres (28 miles) and two big climbs of 1,290 metres in total (4,230 feet).

All 400 competitors will start and finish at Crow Park beside Derwentwater at the Festival's Adventure Base. Here competitors and spectators can enjoy the themed outdoor adventure areas of hike, bike, climb, triathlon and paddle.

La Sportive at Keswick 2, 86 kb

Lucy Bennett, Director, Keswick Mountain Festival, said: "We want people to have fun and we're making the most of the three high passes so everyone who competes can enjoy the spectacular views. There should be something for everyone, whether this is your first Sportive or if you're a seasoned competitor."

Entry for the Sportive is £30 and for that you'll get: electronic timing, feed stations, maps and route cards, mechanical support, a meal voucher, sports nutrition and a finishers memento!

Enter online at:

The UKC Velo Top!, 77 kb
The UKC Velo Top!
© John Rushby

Ian Mulvey, of Be Challenged, who has masterminded the Sportive on behalf of Keswick Mountain Festival, said: “These are really demanding routes with little time to recover between the climbs up the passes. We're hoping those who can't tackle the big one will have a go at the two smaller ones. No matter what level you try, it will be a tough challenge.”

More about KMF

Keswick Mountain Festival is now in its fourth year and for the first time it is organised by Bluestone Events, a Kendal-based company. It's five days of pure adventure in and around Keswick – there are hundreds of outdoor activities to either try as a taster or experience in the extreme with local expert guides.

And there's mountain heroes galore to take you on an adventure from the comfort of your seat in the Theatre By the Lake – including Sir Ranulph Fiennes, Leo Houlding, Andy Cave, Andy Kirkpatrick, Joss Naylor, Kenny Stuart, Dave Birkett and Doug Scott CBE.

Keep an eye on the website because new activities and adventures are added all the time.

Tickets for all speakers are now available directly from the Theatre by the Lake

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